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Tunisians decry security crackdown on peaceful protesters in Sfax

Members of the security forces face Tunisian anti-government demonstrators during a general strike on 10 November 2021, following the reopening of a rubbish dump, in the Tunisian town of Agareb in the central region of Sfax, which has seen weeks of angry demonstrations over a growing waste crisis. [HOUSSEM ZOUARI/AFP via Getty Images]
Members of the security forces face Tunisian anti-government demonstrators during a general strike on 10 November 2021, following the reopening of a rubbish dump, in the Tunisian town of Agareb in the central region of Sfax, which has seen weeks of angry demonstrations over a growing waste crisis. [HOUSSEM ZOUARI/AFP via Getty Images]

Dozens of Tunisians yesterday held a vigil in front of the Municipal Theatre building on Habib Bourguiba Street after a protester died of tear gas inhalation during demonstrations over the reopening of a rubbish dump in the coastal city of Sfax.

Abderrazek Lacheheb, 35, died early Tuesday in Aguereb, in the Sfax region on the central coast, after security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters. A medic and a family member said he died of suffocation.

The prosecution has opened an inquiry into the incident, while the interior ministry said the man died as a result of a pre-existing health condition.

The protesters criticised President Kais Saied and Interior Minister Taoufik Charafeddine and held them responsible for the escalation in tension in the city.

Tunisia's Ennahda movement also blamed Saied for the confrontations which led to Lacheheb's death.

READ: Amnesty warns of rise in Tunisia civilians facing military courts 

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